Talk of the Town: Willow Creek Road housing project

Just some thoughts on the new housing project that is in the planning stage on Willow Creek Road close to Highway 89.

I've been in the real estate business and a pilot since 1973 and have worked with developers, lenders, title companies and land use planning departments in getting projects through the planning process from conception to construction loans with partial phase releases to completions of sales to total build-out. There were three different occasions when after all the planning and community input on the projects were finished and built-out, that the people living in these projects started complaining about the airport noise and potential emergency landings or crashes. It causes quite a lot of consternation with the homeowners even though the developer had all the buyers sign disclosures that they knew they were in the flightpath of their given airport. I think the city of Prescott's Planning Dept. should think long and hard about issuing 'final building permits' for this project until they fully understand the impact the airport will have on the new home owners.

The most recent issue that's been in the news is the Burbank airport that's been around since the 1930's and now landlocked by housing/commercial developments. The people who purchased homes in the near vicinity are now clamoring to have the airport closed along with John Wayne airport and Fullerton airport in Southern California. These are well established airports that now, due to bad planning, are having issues with the amount of noise. The possibility of a pilot having an emergency problem arise where a plane taking off on the 7550' runway 21L or 21R (into prevailing winds) at Ernest A. Love needs to get down in a hurry and just having a large housing neighborhood to avoid might cause issues. Love Field has been here a long time and has a Noise Abatement procedure for pilots to cross the highway and make a left turn and a noise sensitive area south of the airport, but so do the above named airports. The other airports are still facing extreme criticism from the property owners. I see Cessna Citation jets and other jets use the Love Field facility along with twin engine piston aircraft and their noise levels are moderate by jet standards, but still noisy. Just thinking forward about some of the consequences of approving a project this close to an operating airport.

John McDonald, a Chino Valley resident, is a Real Estate Broker and a private pilot. He was in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. After being discharged in 1969 in Long Beach, California, he married and they have one daughter and one granddaughter.